Hakuna Matata

THE LION KING was our very first VHS and I am not even sure why my mum picked that one out from all the others. But I fell in love with it immediately at six years old and am still undeniably addicted to that film. It may seem crazy, but whenever life gets me down I still feel as if that film can help me out in dealing with things. I must be so attached to these characters in a way that is completely not understandable to any sane human being.

Simba did not want to go back to pride rock. He was scared and felt alone in facing his demons. Although his friends encouraged him, he chose to go back in the end himself.

My Father was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease (MND) 6 years ago. I know that many people lose their parents to dreadful circumstances and because of this, I think I have always felt a little undeserving to be so upset over the fact I am going to lose him one day. But nonetheless it doesn’t stop me from thinking about how he won’t physically be in our future.

Thinking of the strong, athletic build of a man he used to be to before this disease tore at his muscles rendering him immobile, and soon-to-be speechless, puts him at the top of my most inspiration people ever to have lived list. Because even though he is in this state, he still smiles and laughs at the silliest things. To quote my Alzheimers ridden Grandfather’s remark to my Father – ‘even though you can’t walk, your smile makes you look very beautiful’. I get what he means.

My Father and Grandfather; both with neurological disorders - MND and Alzheimers Disease respectively- but both still determined to share a joke. P.S. Photo credit goes to my sister (if she ever finds out about this blog and I don't tell you that, she gonna be so mad!)

My Father and Grandfather; both with neurological disorders – MND and Alzheimers Disease respectively- but both still determined to share a joke. Photo credit to my sister.

And so, at those times during the early hours of the morning when I cannot cope with the idea of a life without my Father- a voice comes into my head which says, ‘if Simba can do it, you can too my dear’. Aaaaand now y’all probably think I’m cray cray. Lol.

A lesson in… just accepting the Reality, especially when it is Incredible.

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, Humanity cannot survive.”

                                        – Dalai Lama XIV, ‘The Art of Happiness’

I think today will be with me for the rest of my life. An amazing friend of mine managed to get me a free front row VIP ticket to see HH The Dalai Lama at the Royal Albert Hall. I was about 10 steps away from one of the human beings whose words and actions gave me hope last Summer. People dream of being in the position I was their whole lives and I couldn’t believe that I was actually there.

Sitting so close to HH I just felt so blessed to bear witness to this incredibly inspirational man’s teachings. And what I loved most about his demeanor- what made me have so much more respect for him than I already had- was that he had the utmost humility. From helping the camera crew pick up wires off the floor, to laughing with us ‘as if we are family’ (which is the way he put it), it’s hard to believe that he has seen the most disgusting, outrageous acts human beings cause. Throughout all the horrors of his life, he still believes that the human race is compassionate above all else.

As if this wasn’t enough of a remarkable experience for me, I had the honour of sitting next to Voltaire Taiwo de Campos.He was awarded the Youth achievement award by HH. They announced that his cousin had been killed as a result of ‘postcode warfare’ – but instead of seeking revenge, he put all his efforts into helping those involved in the gang life get out of those ways. At 16 years of age, he is now a mentor. As soon as his mum started bawling her eyes out at how proud she was of her son up on that stage with HH… so did I. It really was a very moving moment and it proved The Dalai Lama’s point. It is compassion – not the need for revenge to satisfy our own anger and quench our egos- that makes us honorable human beings. I am sure it’s not the last we’ve seen of Voltaire.

Oh by the way, a bit off topic, but I just found out that I’ve achieved a 2:1 in my Biochemistry BSc degree (for those who don’t live in the UK, it is a very good grade to get at university)! I can’t believe it. I am in shock. A lot has happened in just the last month. God has blessed me with so many incredible achievements and experiences— seeing old friends again and having new friends come into my life, passing my driving test, getting offered a solo art exhibition at a renowned gallery, being asked for my autograph by strangers (I know right!), passing all my exams and then getting a really good classification, as well as all these career paths He has placed in front of me.

I feel scared that one morning I’m going to wake up and this would have all been a dream. That I’m still in the mind frame I was in last Summer after all that stuff happened and that I’m not going to make it through the day. I used to have the odd dream amongst all those days of anguish where I would be happy again— but then I’d wake up. They were just good dreams in a reality which felt like part of my soul had died.

But now I actually have to take moments to stop and think whether life is real. If all these unbelievably good things are actually happening to just an ordinary person like me. And it feels so strange- like I’m living someone elses’ life. Even though some days are still tough, I feel like I’ve finally found a sense of peace within myself. There is no need to be afraid anymore – I’ve made it.